LocumLife - August 2010 - (Page 7)
INSIGHTS From NALTO
Maintain your peace of mind while traveling
raveling and locum tenens go hand in hand. Whether you’re driving a few hours or flying across the country to reach your next contract, stay safe and reduce travel stress by following these common-sense rules. Be prepared. It’s unlikely that you’ll lose your wallet or have it stolen while traveling, but it happens. Take 10 minutes before your next trip to make a photocopy (front and back) of your driver’s license, credit cards, insurance cards, etc. (Never carry your Social Security card with you.) Keep the copies with you, in a carry-on bag if you’re flying, along with a small amount of emergency cash separate from your wallet. If the worst happens, you can cancel credit cards, notify the DMV to process a replacement driver’s license, and recover quickly. Traveling by car. If your destination is within reasonable driving distance, it may be faster to drive than to fly, what with getting to the airport two hours early and waiting in line for a rental car. To stay safe on the road, follow these practical rules: • Travel during daylight hours. • Study your route in advance, and keep a current road atlas in the car. • Have your automobile serviced and repairs made before long trips. • Invest in AAA or another roadside assistance membership plan. • Stop frequently for stretch breaks; if you feel sleepy, stop for the night. • Fill your tank when the gas gauge reads one-quarter full. At the airport. Airports radiate a sense of safety these days, given how much post-9/11 security is in place. Still, it pays to be vigilant. Keep a close eye on your purse or briefcase. If someone www.LocumLife.com
bumps into you, immediately check to make sure it was an accident, not a diversionary tactic by a petty thief intent on lifting your wallet. As the PA constantly reminds us, don’t let luggage out of your sight except when you turn it over to uniformed airport/airline personnel. And avoid inviting unwanted attention by flaunting wads of cash, big diamonds, or fancy cameras.
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For providers practicing correctional medicine, safety is imperative to maintaining peace of mind when seeing patients. Go to locumlife.com/correctional to read more.
Checking bags. Handing over your belongings at the airport requires a leap of faith. Luggage sometimes gets delayed or lost, and it may even be “inspected” by less-than-honest people whose hands it passes through. Always carry on cash, credit cards, passport, prescription medication (in original bottles), jewelry, camera, cell phone, laptop, basic toiletries, cosmetics, and—as your mother might wisely suggest—a change of underwear. Having the essentials with you will make waiting for a wayward bag or spending the night in an airport hotel when a flight is cancelled much more tolerable. At the hotel. Stay in reputable establishments, preferably ones with inside corridors. Don’t leave valuables in your room when you go to work or even when you go out for a meal or to exercise. Use the hotel safe or keep these items with you instead. Know where exits and stairwells are located in the
Photo: Getty Images/Lifesize/Ron Levine
event of an evacuation—it happens. Use the peephole in the door before opening it to anyone, even if you’re expecting room service. Consider requesting a security escort to the parking lot or garage, especially after dark or if you feel uneasy about the neighborhood. Ground transport. Whether it’s to and from the airport or scooting around the city, make sure the taxis and cars you hire are legitimate. If in doubt, call ahead to your hotel or ask while you’re there. Likewise, choose “brand-name” car rental companies. Request a car that won’t draw unnecessary attention to you as an out-of-towner (e.g., skip the convertible Jag). Take a moment to get familiar with the car, and keep doors locked while driving—airports aren’t always located in the toniest parts of town. Store your luggage in the trunk, and don’t make it obvious to passersby that the car is a rental by leaving your contract on the dashboard or seat. Back at home. If you leave your home unoccupied, make sure your absence is not obvious. When you’re away for more than a few days, have newspapers and mail held. Hire someone or ask a nearby neighbor to keep an eye on your home, pick up any packages that may be delivered, water the flower beds and lawn, take bins in and out on trash/recycling days, and generally help make it look like the place isn’t empty. Travel need not provoke anxiety. Stay aware of your surroundings and listen to your intuition. If you feel insecure, don’t ignore that sensation. Take steps to put yourself back into the safety zone. Check with a NALTO (nalto.org) agency recruiter for more ideas on making travel both safe and enjoyable. L L Karen Childress is a Colorado-based freelance writer contributing a series of articles on behalf of NALTO.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of LocumLife - August 2010
LocumLife - August 2010
A Little Locum Music
Mixing Business and Medicine
Media In Motion
La Vita Locum
LocumLife - August 2010